Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Magical, Invisible Boundaries of the Big Boy Bed

There’s something mysterious going on in my 3-year-old son’s bedroom; more specifically, his bed. We've just moved overseas and for nearly 5-weeks he shared a room with either his sisters or my husband and me. He was taken from his comfortable crib and confined to the small space of a travel cot. But now, he has his own room again and for the first time, a big-boy bed. It’s not a toddler bed, or a converted crib with the rail to make him feel safe and secure. It’s just a regular twin-sized bed in his very own room.

The mysterious part is that he stays in it when I tell him to. He’s 3, remember? Usually when I tell him to do something he answers with a firm “no” or an “I don’t want to!” Yet, when I tell him to stay in bed for his “resting time” or at bedtime, he usually does it without argument. Only once in two weeks has he actually left the room. Every other time he wakes, he calls for me and asks if he can come out. How wonderful is that?

I would love to chalk it up to my superior parenting skills, but that would be plain silly. It is, simply put, magic. The magic of little imaginations, I think. I remember the very same thing happening with my first-born. We converted her crib just before her third birthday in celebration of her departure from babyhood.

I was prepared for nights of frustration, returning her to bed repeatedly just like I’d seen on SuperNanny. But to my delight and surprise, she never got out. She would sing or play in her bed, but she stayed right on it, if not in it. It was as if a magical border rose up when I left the room that could only be seen by her.

That same magical border now keeps my son safely in bed even as I write this. I am filled with wonder at how simple this potentially daunting transition has been. This is magic I hope both my son and I will continue to believe in for a very long time. 

Have you made the switch? How did it go for you and your child?


  1. So funny that you mention this, because BOTH of my kids were the exact same way! I thought for sure they would try to get off the bed (especially my daughter) but there's something magical about the "big bed" that keeps them there...even during time outs ;)

    1. Isn't it crazy? The magic is broken when two kids share a room, but on their own it is a mother's dream come true!


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